The Big Freeze - Winter camp 3013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ian Mitchell   

For us this camp was a first. We had done indoor camping and we had done summer/spring/autumn camping, but never one in Winter. Would it work? If we built it would they come? just some of the questions on our minds as we set forth to organise this adventure. John and Claire took on the mantel of organising the event, which went towards them being assessed for their Nights Away Permits. Much thought went into the weekend and as the date drew closer and Christmas passed, more people signed up, nearly everyone in fact. The programme was set, with indoor accommodation at Skreens Park just outside Chelmsford. As Friday approach the weather got worse and the leaders got more excited. Could it possibly snow while we are on Winter camp. How brilliant that would be for the Scouts. Although it was touch and go (i.e. parents arrived, the kids feet touched the ground and the parents went; to get back to their warm houses), everyone arrived safely and got settled into their rooms.

After a quick briefing on camp rules, the fun started straight away, with wide games in the dark, in the field, in the snow. Hunt the leader; Find us and we signed their ticket, most signatures wins; Simples. The Scouts had a great time, but really need to learn about night vision, so many walked past me without seeing me, one saying 'they can't be near here, if someone was watching me, I would know'. Tee Hee. After the wide game it was a hot drink and off to bed.

The next day they woke up (at 6am) to more snow. Time for a hike. Only 6 miles, but that feels further when it is cold. Navigation was good, with one team carry a snow shovel for a third of the walk, in case they needed to clear a path. We met them for lunch, spirits were high and fingers were cold, so a quick munch on a sandwich to get some energy and of for the final third. Once back at the hut they warmed up, changed any clothes that had got wet, and were straight back out for an hours climbing. Boots and cold fingers don't cling to walls very well, but some of them got quite high up the wall. Next some well earned free time and after Paul's fabulous tea we were out again for some more, different, wide games. Off to bed with a bit of a lay in for Sunday (until 7am).

Even though this was the last day their was lots to do. Firstly get up, dress and packed. Then it was breakfast and clean the rooms. Once everything was tidy it was onto the main event of building bazookas out of catering size bean tins and elastic bands. Within a flash the morning has gone and it is 11am, time for the parents to pick them up. No drama there, although a one point, due to the snow, it looked like we might have to hike out. Fortunately we didn't tell the kids, hence them all looking happy when the parents arrived.

Once everyone was gone, it was for the leaders to pack up and go. As I drove home I had as big a grin on my face as the Scouts. We had done it. The weekend was a great success and the icing (pardon the pun) on the cake was that both John and Claire passed their assessment. This may not be the things that legends are made of, but certainly traditions. a 5th Billericay winter camp is here to stay. See you there next year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 21:21